'Massive, unexpected' turnout in Egypt vote
Wednesday 30 November 2011
Egyptians poured onto the streets for a second day of voting yesterday as the Military Council appeared intent on using the large turnout to bolster its shaky position.
Queues snaked around the streets of Egypt's towns and cities, with Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim, the head of the country's election commission saying the turnout had been "massive and unexpected".
Protesters who remain camped out in central Cairo have demanded the generals who have governed Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February step down immediately. Many are worried that the military will be reluctant to step aside. But Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's de facto leader, has seemed keen to isolate the demonstrators, suggesting in recent statements that the activists controlling Tahrir Square do not represent Egyptian opinion.
In a sign that the military's strategy might be bearing fruit, the numbers of demonstrators in downtown Cairo has dwindled noticeably in recent days. One observer joked on Twitter that there seemed to be more stallholders than protesters now.
After various political parties called for a postponement or boycott of the poll in the wake of last week's rioting, the apparent enthusiasm for Egypt's historic election could be a boon to military prestige – particularly as the vote is being safeguarded by tens of thousands of troops. The Muslim Brotherhood's political wing said the election would "complete the revolution of 25 January".
The three-round vote for Egypt's lower house of parliament, which many have criticised for its complexity, will be completed in January. A poll for the upper house is due to end in March.
Bahrain shifts security chief
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa replaced Bahrain's head of state security yesterday after an inquiry exposed rights abuses during a crackdown on Arab Spring protests in the Gulf state. Bahrain has said it will comply with the findings of the independent commission of inquiry. The former security head, Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdullah, will now advise the king. Reuters
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...